Monday, August 17, 2015

New Beginnings! An Apartment-Warming Gift for my Sister

I can't believe I'm even writing this, but my baby sister has a new place of her own! She moved into an adorable new apartment, and I couldn't be more excited for her new adventure. I knew as soon as we heard that she was moving out that I would want to put together a "apartment-warming" gift for her to get her started with some pretty, but functional touches in her new home.

I had seen on Instagram (and forgive me, because I can't for the life of me find the original post or its author to credit her here! If it was you, please let me know!) that Home Depot had some great patio items on clearance. The item that caught my eye was a set of three, square, copper-colored trays with rope handles. I'm a big fan of anything copper, and I loved the idea of trays for the base of the gift. I called around and found a store that still had some in stock, and Rich and I took a drive to pick them up (and also a set for us, because let's face it, they're super cute!).

Trays seemed like a great gift, since they are both pretty and useful. We use a tray to catch keys, mail, change, and receipts on our island, and a tray for centerpiece decor on the dining room table. I figured that Katherine could definitely find something cute to do with them. The rope handles are a nod to both her love and her boyfriend, Matt's love of all things ocean and nautical. The one thing I did to do modify them was to add felt feet to the bottom in each corner of all three trays. I didn't want to risk them scratching a table if something like sand or whatever got underneath them, so this was a quick and easy way to prevent that!

To go with the copper trays, I wanted to make some DIY coasters, and opted for cork.

I used a pencil to sketch my designs on the coasters first. Then, I used permanent makers to draw on them, and reinforced my lines several times for bolder designs.

Once they had dried overnight, I tied them all up with a bow.

Growning up, Katherine had adopted a plant given to her by my aunt, who described it as "a spotted thing". She named it Melvin (yes, we're those people who name everything), and took good care of him for a good long while. Unfortunately, recently, it died, so she couldn't bring it with her.

Of course, I took the opportunity to go pick out a new spotted plant and a bright, fun planter to add a fun pop of color. I loved this bright orange one. It's a bit pineapple-esque, and definitely adds that pop of fun I was looking for.

Finally, I framed a photograph of a water lily that Matt had taken. I ran the photo through the beloved Waterlogue app for a water color effect, and picked up a simple wooden frame to pop it in. I figured, everyone can always use a basic frame and some pretty art when getting started!

The other thing we gave to them was a coffee table. This table was in our first apartment, originally from Rich's nana's house. We don't use a coffee table in our current home, since we have antique end tables and a large ottoman, so it's been stored in the basement ever since we moved. Rich worked on it to sand it down, restain the legs and frame, and paint the top a beautiful, bright turquoise color (If you're wondering, the paint color is Fore and Aft by Sherwin Williams. Also, it's pretty much the most pretty color there ever was) . Again, it's a great pop of color, which is welcome in their room with white walls and a gray couch. I like starting with those neutrals and adding fun, colorful decor items, too.

I love how the table came out, and it's already hard at work in their new living room! I like how each item is both functional and pretty, and can help them make their new space seem more homey!

What do you love to give as housewarming gifts? What was the best thing you've received?
Also, in case you missed it, check out the post about our mini vacation to Freeport, Maine, including all of the dog-friendly places we visited!

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  1. This is such a sweet gift idea! You are too clever, girl! xx

  2. What a sweet gift! Love the DIY coasters! That sounds like a fun project for Christmas gifts.

    1. Thanks so much, Tonia! The coasters were fun to make! I agree, they would definitely be fun for Christmas.


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